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NICU nurse lifts spirits with colorful signs of hope

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on healthcare workers across the country and in West Virginia. But one nurse in our area is on a mission to help lift spirits by sharing words of encouragement.

Photo by Jennifer Smith

There is a yellow tent and red signs outside of the emergency room at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston. It is a sight that attracts your attention. But if you look up you’ll see some colorful positive messages in the windows.

Mary Mason came up with the idea. She is a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital.

“I just wanted to provide encouragement to our workers and visitors who are coming in every day to make someone smile or start their shift off on a good foot,” Mason said.

Mason made signs by hand and put them in the windows. She taped together pieces of computer paper. For her the process is a way to heal.

Photo by Jennifer Smith

“I think it is really scary times right now every day that we come into work,” Mason said. “I feel like at Women and Children’s we might not have a lot of COVID right now but we have a very vulnerable population.”

Throughout the year Mary uses her skills in caligraphy to make keepsakes for babies in the NICU and their families. This project just made sense.

“Maybe they came in and they were scared. Maybe this is the day they thought they were going to get sick or they got someone sick. So just to provide a smile to anyone makes you feel really good,” she said.

She hopes the signs will give people the hope and comfort they need right now.

“There’s a lot of co workers who came in and said ‘you made my day you made me smile today’ so trying to remember that this is going to pass and that we are all going to get through this together and it is scary times but it will get better,” Mason said.

Some of Mason’s co-workers on day shift also made signs.

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